Mrčela told the public television service HTV on Tuesday evening that disputes over the appointment of the Supreme Court President could be avoided if the system of selection was changed so that judges themselves elected the chief justice.
In order to change the process of selection of the Supreme Court President, it is necessary to amend the Constitution, which, however, requires a political consensus, Mrčela said on HTV’s prime-time news programme.
President Milanović today criticised the appearance of a judge in the national broadcaster’s prime time news programme.
“I consider it very dangerous that judges should appear in prime time news programmes to say what the Croatian Constitution should look like, after they themselves have destroyed it many times,” Milanović said. “I don’t dare come out with ideas that can change the world, while a judge, who obviously serves a life term, does,” he added.
Milanović said that as the head of state he did not see himself in the role of someone who amends the Constitution but someone who guards it.
He went on to say that Mrčela’s proposal was “absolutely absurd” and such a model did not exist anywhere in Europe.
Milanović said that Mrčela, as a judge, was promoting political ideas. “That was a political statement. I urge judges not to comment on the political system in Croatia,” the president said.
Mrčela also said that the current disputes about the future Supreme Court President were purely political, and pushed for removing politics from the process of appointment of the Supreme Court President.
For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.